China issues rules to manage use of drones

2023-06-29 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has issued a set of rules to govern the use of unmanned aircraft.

The Provisional Regulations on the Flight Management of Unmanned Aircraft, made by the State Council and the Central Military Commission, were published on Wednesday and will take effect on Jan 1, 2024.

The document has six chapters, consisting of 63 clauses that cover the design, production, operation, and application of drones. The rules are aimed at safeguarding flight safety as well as public and national security and will help to establish a science-based, well-regulated, and efficient management system for all operations involving drones, according to a statement from the government.

The regulations are expected to prevent security risks related to drones, and provide a legal foundation for the industry's development, the statement said.

According to the regulations, owners of drones will be asked to present identification when registering with the authorities, and those who use and operate drones should have certain qualifications.

The document stipulates that the top authority in charge of drones' flight management will be the national air traffic management agency, while other government organs – including civil aviation, public security, industry, and information technology departments – will be responsible for specific work.

It also lists a host of restricted airspace for drones, including above airports, national borders, military bases, weapons factories, power plants, transformer substations, transport hubs, radar stations, and satellite control and tracking facilities.

A number of drone operations will be banned, including using drones to take pictures of military establishments and defense industry facilities, or to disrupt public orders, or release illegal materials, according to the regulations.

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